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January 4, 2011

Imagine Losing Everything

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From The Big Picture
4 January 2011

Imagine what it's like losing everything in a natural disaster.

Queensland, Australia, is suffering from floods of "biblical proportions" according to the media, with over 200 000 people displaced from their homes.

Seasonal flooding is expected in Australia during the summer season, but to this extent, it was completely unexpected, devastating homes, farms, roads, railways and wildlife.

People in an area as large as Europe's France have had to be evacuated, and people in the region have taken to rescuing the helpless wallabies and kangaroos who normally frolic across the dry plains. Click here to see more images from The Big Picture.

To make matters worse, cyclone Tasha also hit the area two weeks ago, and this dumped even more water in the region.

One needs wonder, however, why no one is making a concerted effort to discover the true reason for the intense and devastating natural disasters the world has experienced over the last year.

The past year was definitely one for the history books, with 295 000 people killed. About 950 natural disasters were reported last year, and this makes 2010 the second-worst year since 1980 - the average number of catastrophic events over the last decade was 785.

Although the earthquake in Haiti was to blame for 222 570 of the reported deaths, this does not take away the effect disasters had on people who lost their homes, were displaced, evacuated and sometimes forgotten as another disaster claimed headlines.

I sometimes think that there seem to be more disasters because the media is so much more embroiled and evident in our daily lives. But the fact that we're still reporting on their devastating consequences should not be overlooked, and nor should the fact that their frequency and intensity is increasing.

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